Home / Artists / Hemen Das | Actor, Writer, Critic, Stage and Film Director

Hemen Das | Actor, Writer, Critic, Stage and Film Director

Mr. Hemen Das is a well known Actor, Writer, Critic, Stage and Film Director. He received the National Cine Award Rajat Kamal for his feature film Jooj (The fight) in 1990. In 2016, his feature film ‘Mriganabhi’ (Musk) got the Best Actress Award (Prastuti Parasar) in 6th Dada Saheb Falke International Film Festivals and the Best Music Director (Tarali Sarma) in Prag Cine Award. Also he got the Silpi Pension and Literary Award from the Government of Assam.

He was a Jury Member for the National Film Award as well as for the Indian Panorama for the Feature and Non-feature category, also the Critics Jury for the 13th International Children’s Film Festival, India.

He was an Ex-Board Member of Central Board of Film Certifications, an Executive Council and General Body Member of Children’s Film Society, India. He is contributing literary, cultural and thought provoking articles in English and Vernacular dailies, periodicals and journals of the State of Assam. His published book Natya Silpa, Pom Khedi, Cinema Cinema, Abhinay, Akonihat- Cinema Nriman Koro Aha, Chalachitrar Prasangat and compailation of books Xilpachinta based on Drama, Acting and Film art art considered to be more significant.

Noted Artiste-Litterateur Hemen Das
(Date of Birth : November 1, 1946)

Hemen Das | Actor, Writer, Critic, Stage and Film Director - AxomLive

 

Mr. Hemen Das is a well known Actor, Writer, Critic, Social-Worker, Theatre person and National Award Winning Film Director.

His debut Feature Film Junj (the fight) received the Rajat Kamal National Cine Award in 1990 for which he wrote the story, screenplay & dialogue, besides directing it. The film was praised for portraying the earthy realism in the field of social differences with conviction. He made Gorakheeya (Cowherd) in 1993, as children’s film based on cowherd’s life who gather knowledge and education from the nature. It was followed by a Tele Film Ahatgurir Natun Baat in 1995 based on the idea of a revolution to set free the new generation from the clutches of blind faith and social exploitation. He also directed the Documentary Marriage Ritual of the Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh and a Video film Dr. Saran’s e-HRD Model for based on Stress Management.

After 22 years back his debut feature film ‘Mriganabhi’ (Musk) focursses on the angst of a deprived woman. In 2016 the film Mriganabhi got the Best Actress Award (Prastuti Parasar) in 6th Dada Saheb Falke International Film Festival, the Best Music Director (Tarali Sarma) in Prag Cine Award in 2016 and Best Supporting Actor (Rajib Goswami) in Ro’dali Cine Award, 2017.

He is contributing literary, cultural and thought provoking articles in dailies, periodicals and journals in the State of Assam. In addition, with the knowledge of Drama Art he wrote two books i.e. Natya Silpa & Pom Khedi; with the knowledge of Acting he wrote the book Abhinay and with the knowledge of Film Art he wrote three books i.e. Cinema Cinema, Akonihot- Cinema Nirman Koro Aha, Chalachitror Prasangat and Compailation of books Xilpachinta which is rare and more significant towards his credit. These books have got wide popularity among the readers- particularly Art-lovers and up-coming Artists. Two of his stage play Ekhan Shanti Yuddhor Babe (for a peaceful war) and Kalpataru are also to be more significant. He was an only delegate from Assam for 3rd National Theatre Festival, Kolkata in 1986.

In 1997, the Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Academy, India conferred him with Dr. Ambedkar Fellowship Award for his contribution to Arts, Literature and Society, and he is being given Silpi Pension (2010) and Literary Award (2012) from Government of Assam. Also he got the Life Time Achievement Award from the Sanskritik Mahashabha, Assam, 2012.

He was a Jury Member for the National Film Awards as well as for the Indian Panorama in 2002 and for the Non-feature category in 2008. He was also on the Critics Jury for 13th International Children Film Festival, India in 2003 and was a Jury at the State Film Award Festival of Assam 2005.

He was an Ex-Board Member of Central Board of Film Certifications, Government of India and Ex-Executive Council & General Body Member of the Children’s Film Society of India. He was on the Panel of Experts for viva-voce test at Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata, and for selection of Books for the State Library Service, Assam. Also he was a Member of the Script Committee, NFDC, Govt. of India & Member of the Selection Committee for the artist pension, Govt. of Assam

He got retired from Assam Secretariat Service in 2004. He had been also the Regional Coordinator (NE), RITES Ltd., Government of India in 2007-2008 & 2010. He is a Chief Patron of B. Das Memorial Trust.

 

PERSONAL PROFILE :

Father’s Name:  Late Bagasing Das
Mother’s Name:  Late Dharmeswari Das
Place of Birth:  Ahatguri, Morigaon (Assam)
Education: Completed college Education under Gauhati University
Nationality:  Indian
Religion:  Hinduism
Marital Status:  Married
Language Proficiency :  Assamese, English, Hindi, Bengali
Service Status:  Retired from Secretariat Service,  Government of Assam

 

CAREER MILESTONES

 

  • Rajat kamal the National Cine Award, 1990 for the Film JUNJ (the fight) portraying the earthy realism in the field of Social differences with conviction.
  • Silpi Pension from Government of Assam, 2010.
  • Literary Award from Government of Assam, 2012.
  • Dr. Ambedkar Fellowship Award, 1997 from Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Academy for contributions to the art, literature & society.
  • Best Actress Award in ‘Mriganabhi’ (Prastuti Parasar) in 6th Dada Saheb Falke International Film Festivals, 2016, focuses on the angst of a deprived woman.
  • Best Music Director Award in ‘Mriganabhi’ (Tarali Sarma) in Prag Cine Award, 2016.
  • Best Supporting Actor (Rajib Goswami) in Ro’dali Cine Award- 2017.
  • Life time Achievement Award from Sanskritik Mahashabha, Asom 2012.
  • Best Actor & Best Director Award at Morigaon Circle Full-length Drama Competition, 1978.
  • 3rd Best Script Award at Bhikhari Thakur Drama Festival, Ara (Bihar), 2003 for the drama Ekhon Shanti Yuddhar Babe.

 

DRAMA ART AND HEMEN DAS

 

ACTING IN DRAMA

Ankiya Nat :

Rukmini Haran | Parijat Haran | Ram Banabash | Bhisma Parba Bakasur Badh | Dakhya Jagya | Bali Badh, etc.

(in female character only)

Jatra Nat

Dukhiyar Jiyari | Manik Mala | Rakhya Kumar | Konouj Kouwari | Sakunir Pratishodh | Sirajuddaula | Raja Harischandra etc.

(in female character only)

 

Adhunik (Modern) Nat :

Ba-maroli | Bimuson | Urukha Poja | Ahatgurir Natun Baat | Swakhyar | Jorowruwa Poraja | Baro-Ghanta | Janmantor | Achami Iswar Hajir | Emuthi Chaul | Bor Manuhor Dola | Swapna Juddha | Mrityunjoy | Bhutai Deka | Pathorughator Ran | Magribor Aajan | Akhon Shanti Yuddhar Babe | Piyoli Phukan etc.

 

At Directorate of Cultural Affairs :-

Sakari Inspector l Bhogjora l Janma (as guest artist)

 

At All India Drama Competition :-

Swakhyar (Ahmedabad, 1972) | Aami Swapnatur (Delhi, 1975) | Aachami Iswar Hajir (Bhopal 1976), |Bor Manuhor Dola (Delhi 1977), | Sakari Inspector (Delhi 1977, Kolkata 1978) | Magribor Aajan (Delhi, 1979) | Ahatgurir Natun Baat (Jaipur, 1984).

 

Radio Nat :

Ahatgurir Natun Baat | Angulimala | Rupahi Ma’am | Prakash | Dhanantori | Godapani-Joymati | Panipath | Bidarva Kanya | Khemi | Xunpahir Chokulu (Serial) | Ankur | Juiye Pura Xun | Rai | Propanchatantra | Rupohi Mahilar Abhinoy | Sandesh | Proloy | Fehujali | Gadadhar Konwar | Biswashe Miloy Hari | Bhutor Mukhot Ram Nam | Ulai Ah | Byadhor Chor | Nirmal Bhakat | Dakhol | Rukmini Haran etc.

Tele Nat :

Bhoot aaru Bahroni

 

DIRECTION IN DRAMA :

Ankita Nat :

Dakhya Yagya (On modern stage with female artists in female character, 1976)

Jatra Nat :

Manik Mala l Rakhya Kumar l Sakunir Pratisodh l Raja Harischandra

Adhunik (Modern) Nat :

Ba-maroli | Urukha poja | Swakhyor | Baro-Ghanta | Ahatgurir Natun Baat | Swapna Yuddha | Bimochan | Chiraj | Achami Iswar Hajir | Mogribor Aajan | Emuthi Chaul | Bormanuhor Dola etc.

 

DRAMA WRITING :

Ekhon Shanti Yuddhar Babe (For a War of Peace based on the fallout of a War)

Kalpataru (A fabulous free based on the ideology and teaching of renowned Vaishnava Guru Shri Sankardeva)

DELEGATE :

3rd National Theatre Festival, Kolkata-1986 (only delegate from Assam)

 

FILM ART AND HEMEN DAS

ACTING IN FILM :

Feature Film

Ashray (Directed by Dulal Roy) | Kanaklata (Directed by Kuntala Deka) | Junj (Directed by Self) | Pani (Directed by Prafulla Saikia) | Itihas (Directed by Dr. Bhabendra Nath Saikia) | Jatinga Ityadi (Directed by Sanjib Sabhapandit) | Dikchow Banat Palaax (Directed by Sanjit Sabhapandit) | Mriganabhi (Directed by Self)

 

Tele Drama :

  • Bhoot aaru Bahroni (Directed by Dulal Roy)

Tele Film :

  • Ahatgurir Natun Baat (Directed by Self)

Mega Tele-serial (Hindi)

  • Mrityunjoy (Directed by Charu Kamal Hazarika)

 

DIRECTION IN FILM :

Feature Film :

Junj (The Fight) : Attempting to portray with conviction the earthy realism in the field of social differences, 1990 | Gorokhiya (Cowherd) : About cowherd’s life who gather knowledge and education from the Nature, 1993 | Mriganabhi (Musk) : Focusses on the angst of a deprived woman.

Tele-Film :

Ahatgurir Natun Baat : Based on the idea of a revolution to set fee the new generation from the clutches of blind faith and social exploitation, 1995.

Documentary :

Marriage ritual of the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.

Video Film :

Dr. Saran’s e- HRD Model for Leadership creativity and stress management.

JURY :

National Jury :

  • Feature Film Section of 49th National Film Award, 2002.

Indian Panorama Jury :

  • Feature Film Section of Indian Panorama, 2002
  • Short Film Section of Indian Panorama, 2008

International Jury :

  • Critics Jury of 13th International Children’s Film Festival, 2003

State Jury :

  • Feature Film Section of Assam State Film Awards, 2005

Regional Jury (Eastern) :

  • Feature Film for the 60th National Film Awards, 2012.

 

Chairman :

North East Indian Ethnic Documentary Film Festivals Awards, 2010

Panel of Experty :

Ex-Panel of Expert for the Viva-Voice test at Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata, 2001-2006

Life Member :

Guwahati Cine Club.

 

HEMEN DAS AS AUTHOR

  • Natya Silpa – Theory Book of Drama Art.
  • Pomkhedi – Acting, Literature and Culture etc.
  • Abhinay – Stage, Film, Mime and Magic Acting etc.
  • Cinema Cinema : Film Study
  • Akanihat, Cinema Nirman Karu Aha : Study on Children’s curiosity to know how a cinema is made.
  • Chalachitrar Pasangat : Important articles on Film Art.
  • Xilpachinta : Compilation of books. (Published by Asom Prakashan Parisad – 2013)

ARTICLE WRITER HEMEN DAS :

Writings on Drama Art :

Need for study on drama | Ankiya Bhaona and mother language Bhaona | National Theature and a Modern Sankardev | Dramatic art and society | Drama and Cinema | From Stage to Cinema | Moscow Art Theatre | Democratic Fighter, dramatist Arthur Miler | Clifford Odates who established as a dramatist himself overnight in American theatre | Chekhov’s dramatic achievement | Oldvick theatre | Pirandello’s art consciousness | Bernard Shaw and intellectualism in drama | Epoch making dramatist Henrik Ibsen | Brecht and his theatre | Pisquetor and Brecht | Berliner Ensemble and Brecht’s Philosophy | Famous dramatists Albi and Hunchberry | America’s first class dramatist Tenessy Williams | Expressionist dramatist Elmar Rice and Lawson | Striendberg a dramatist of Spiritual conflict | Lorka– greatest Spanish Poetic Dramatist of 20th Century | Dramatist Arthur Pinero | Thought of God in modern drama | Life- a source of drama | Path breaker of English theatre – Gallsworthy | World famous playwright William Shakespeare

Writings on Film Art :

Our films, their films | Mirroring Realities | Film for the young | Life of pi – the urge for keeping alive | Ekhan Nedekha Nadir Sipare – a film with cinematic language and elements. | Shakespeare in Cinema | Example of a Responsible Director – film Kadam Tale Krishna Nache | National Identify and Indian Cinema | The Jugglery of Bollywood Films | Sex and violence in Films | The Smita Enigma | Drama and Film | Novels vs Film | In search of Film Criticism | Film and Individual – Anthropology, Aesthetics in Film | Society and Film | The Basis of Film Criticism | Problems of Regional Film in Assam and their solution | Indian Regional Films and their Development | On completion of platinum Jubilee of Assamese Cinema | The role of Film Journalism | Development of India Talkie Film and its quality | Film Art and the Role of Government | Need of Cinema in Society | Bhumika – a symbol of severe blow | Hiroshima Mon Omur – a film on separation and union | Oka Uri Kotha – symbol of an exploited society | Education on Film

 

Other Writings :

On the issue of oil refinery (Sodhanagar Prasanga) | The birth place of Bezboroa (Bezboroar Janmasthan) | Cultural icon Jyoti Prasad (Sanskritir Pujari Jyotiprasad) | Government and art and culture (Sarkar Aru Kala Sanskriti) | On the issue of Kalakshetra (Ekhon Achani- Sankardev Kalakshetra) | It is high time to separate Cachar (Cachar Prithak Karar Eyei Upajukta Samay) | On the track of acting (1st to 9th volume) (Abhinayar Pom Khedi) |  In search of Devadashi system (Devadashi Prathar Pom Khedi) | Cultural life of Guwahati City- latest situation and characteristics, (Guwahati Mahanagarir Sanskritik Jivan- Sehatiya Charitra and Baisistyas) |  Live in the midst of people (Janashaktir Majat Jiyai Thakok) | Context : Language of literature (Prasanga : Sahityar Bhasa) | Context : Birth place of Lakshminath Bezbaroa (Prasanga : Lakshminath Bezbaroar Janmasthan) | All art is created from the urge of own heart (Sakalo silpai prathame nijar babe aru hridayar tagidatei sristi hoi), Bihu dance, song and festival- what is it really (Bihu nritya, geet aru utsav- Achalate ki?) | Our beautiful village (Suwani Amar Gaonkhoni) | Memorable incident of my life (Mor Jivanar Smaraniya Ghatana) | Sankardev Art University needed (Sankardev Kala Viswavidyalayar Prayujan) |  Remembering a source of inspiration- Amulya Kakoti (Anupreronar Utsa Amulya Kakotik Sunwari) | What I wanted to be (Moi Ki Habo Bicharichilo) |  Dinning Hall, Decline of Sankari Philosophy in the Satra institutions, Fake drama in construction of capital at Guwahati (Guwahatit Rajdhani Nirmanar Bheko Bhaona) |  What Assam has got from Dr. Bhupen Hazarika (Dr. Bhupen Hazarikar Pora Asome Ki Pale) | Who will gain from Bhupen Hazarika’s Rajya Sabha membership (Bhupen Hazarikai Rajya Sabha Pale Labhoban Hobo kon) | On Dr. Bhupen Hazarika (Bhupen Hazarika Prasanga) | Where was Hazarika when Assam needed (Asome Bichorar Samayat Kot Achil Bhupen Hazarika) | Advani’s Bharat Uday Yatra (Advanir Bharat Uday Yatra) | How to coexist with floods (Banpanir Lagat Kenekoi Sahawasthan Koribo Pari) | Those who still support Prafulla Mahanta (Jisakale Etiyao Prafulla Mahantak Samarthan Kare) | Will the computer scheme succeed (Computer Achani Safal Hobone?) | Revolution can never be a drama (Biplab Ketiyao Natak Nohai) | Cancer in Assam politics (Asamar Rajnitit Cancer) | A few thoughts on an anti-national politician (Jatidrohi Rajnitik Ejanor Bisaye Jatkinchit) | Studious person Sarat Chandra Sinha (Adhyayansil Byakti Sarat Chandra Sinha) | In search of a healthy employment policy (Sustha Niyog Nitir Pom Khedi) | Problem of unemployment (Karmasansthanar Samashya) | Recognition of the birth place of Sahityarathi Bezbaroa and memorial (Sahityarathi Bezbaroar Janmasthanar Swikriti and Smritisoudh) | Role of artists in society (Samajat Silpir Bhumika) | Death of Padum Barua was not normal (Padum Baruar Mrityu Swabhavik Nohoi) | Kalpataru (Drama) l Capital should be moved to another site to save Guwahati (Guwahatik Raksha Koriboloi Hole Rajdhani Sthanantarit Koribo Lage) | Mizoram begins war against drugs which is more dangerous than terrorism (Santrasbadotkoio Bhayanak Madak Drabyar Biruddhe Juddhat Abatirna Hol Mizoram) | Unification of regionalism does not suit  Prafulla Mahanta’s speech (Anchalikatabador Ekatrikaran Prafulla Mahantar Mukhot Sobha Napai) | Instead of deporting foreigners agitation shoule have been launched for a tribal State (Bideshi Khedar Thait Janajati Rajyar Andolanhe Hobo Lagichil) | Another death of Jyotiprasad Agarwalla (Jyoti Prasad Agarwallar Anya Ek Mrityu) | In pursuance of separatism (Bichinnatabador Jer Tani) | AGP has lost another chance (Agapai Anya Eta Sujog Heruwale) | Floods have come again (Banpani Akou Ahiboi) | Criticism of art and literature (Silpa Sahityar Samalochana) | Mobile Theatre suffers from fear of the future (Bhabishyatar Sankatat Bhugiche Bhramyaman Theatre) | Another Death of Jyotiprasad agarwalla imminent (Jyoti Prasad Agarwallar Anya Ek Mrityu Asanna) | Present situation of Guwahati : Capital Responsible (Guwahatir Bartaman Awastha : Dayee Rajdhanikhon) | Legal Aid to Terrorists (Santrasbadiloi Aini Sahajya) | Large River Dam and Bullet train (Brihat Nadibandh Aru Bullet Train) | Culture and Sankardev (Sanskriti Aru Sankardev) | Another historic blunder of AGP (Agapar Anya Ek Aitihasik Bhool) | Kalpana Lajmi has no right to disrespect the people of Assam (Asombashik Apaman Korar Adhikar Kalpana Lajmir Nai) | Magh Bihu and buffalo fight (Magh Bihu aru Mohjooj) | For whose interest agitation for regionalism (Anchalikatabad Andolane Kar Swartha Puran Kariche) | On the issue of conscience vote (Prasanga : Bibek Vote) | Did Akhil’s shoutings bear fruit? (Akhilar Chiyar-Bakhor Kamat Ahilne?) | Truth of art (Silpasatya), Reality (Bastav) | Sense of life in the midst of confusion (Bibhrantir Majat Jibanbodh) | Taste (Ruchibodh) | Artificial tension (Kritrim Uttejana) | Problem of life (Jivanar Samashya) | Impact of art (Silpar Prabhab) | Man may be ashamed of his own creation (Nijar Sristir Karaneo Manuh Lajjit Hobo Loga Hoi) | Culture and Sankardev (Sanskriti Aru Sankardev) | Noble artiste (Mohan Silpi) | Bhupenda and a few remembrance (Bhupenda Aru Tukura Smriti) l Nobody can rescue Guwahati from artificial floods (Kritrim Banor Pora Guwahatik Koneo Uddhar Karibo Noare) | In company of Mamoni Baideu (Mamoni Baideur Sanniddhayare) | On Bhupen Hazarika’s Memorial Column (Bhupen Hazarikar Samadhi Soudhar Prasangat) | My 18 years in ‘Agradoor’ (Agradootat Mor Othara Bachar) | Sankardev Award (Sankardev Bota) | On G.S. Road episode (G.S. Road Kandar Jer Tani) | Mirroring Realities, On separate Bodoland (Prithak Bodolandor Jer Tani) | Social Science- Main Base of Criticism (Samalochanar Mool Bhitti Samaj Vigyan) | Remembering Dr. Bhupen Hazarika on birth day (Janmadinat Dr. Bhupen Hazarikak Suwanricho) | On tribal status (Janajatikaranar Jer Tani) | Heritage in creation of art and literature (Silpa Sahitya Sristit Aitijya) | Controversy on Srimanta Sankardev Award (Srimanta Sankardev Bota Bitarka) | Floods in Guwahati (Guwahatir Ban) | Let the flag of regionalism fly in Assam as in Jharkhand (Asomar Anchalikatabador dhwaja Jharkhandar dore Uruwak) | AGP is not a regional party, but a Local political party only (Agapa Anchalik Dal Nohoi, e eta sthania rajnaitik dalhe) | Music of ‘Jooj’- Khagen Mahanta, Ramen Choudhury (Joojar sangeet- Khagen Mahanta, Ramen Choudhury) | On artiste pension (Silpi pension sandarbhat) | On Guwahati’s transport system (Guwahatir paribahan byabasthar Jer Tani) | Buffalo fight- One of the traditional customs of Assam (Asamor oitijyapurna kristisamuhar anyatam Moh Jooj) | Guwahati city and transport system (Guwahati Mahanagari aru paribahan byabastha). It was my mistake to make Mriganabhi (Musk) now.

Mr Das has been writing here and there since 1970 but the writings of his initial stages could not be preserved due to ignorance of the importance of preservation. However, the articles mentioned above have been published from time to time in different journals and periodicals of Assam. Itis also mention that, his writing is still going on.

IN OTHERS

Life Member :

  • Guwahati Senior Citizen Association

Member :

  • Preliminary & State Selection Committee for Award of Artist Pension, 2013 and 2014, Govt. of Assam.

Participant :

Bhart Ekatma Jatra

  • (From Kasturba Gandhi’s Samadhi, Pune to Mahatma Gandhi Samadhi, Delhi, 1984)

Panel of Expert :

  • Ex-Panel Expert for Selection of Books for the State Library Service, Assam.

Inaugurator :

  • Cultural Night of biennial Session of Asom Lekhika Sanstha, 6th January, 2007, Tingkhang.
  •  Cultural Rally of 5th Special Annual Dakhinpat Session of Asom Sahitya Sabha, 11th March, 2008.

Regional Coordinator (NE) RITES Ltd.

  • Total Transport System Study, by Planning Commission, Govt. of India, 2007-2008.
  • Feasibility Study for a Regional Transport Aircraft Facilitation of Traffic Surveys, 2010 by National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL)

Practitioner (Non Professional) :

  • Homeopathic System of Medicine, Regd. No. 1805.

Chief Patron :

  • Bagasing Das Memorial Trust, Ahatguri, Morigaon, Assam.

 

IN ORGANIZATIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS

At Ahatguri (Birth place)

Anchalik Sarboday Puthibharal | Anchalik Yuvak Sangha | Agradoor Natya Samaj | Lakhiminath Bezbaruah Girl’s M.E. & High School | Anchalik Rangali Bihu Utsav Samittee | Sankardev Krishti Kanan | Anchalik Moh Jooj Samittee | Anchalik Shakha Sahitya Sabha | Anchalik Auditorium | Establish of Sahityarathi Lakhminath Bezbaruah statue, etc.

At Shillong (Service place)

Ramdhenu Silpi Samaj | Rupalim Sangha | Uronia Sangha | Bongiya Sahitya Parishad | Assam Sachivalaya Sports & Cultural Organization, etc.

At Guwahati (Service place)

Natshala | Pragati Silpi Sangha | Rajdhani Alochana Chakra | Rajdhani Cine Society | Rajdhani Namghar | Lekhok Manch, Asom | Takhya Shilla, Asom, etc.

 

Some facts about Hemen Das

Govardhan Panchal— reputed cultural researcher of India and founder faculty of Rastriya Natya Vidyalaya and a commentator of Natya Sashtra of India- Dhiren Das came to Assam in the year 1986 and visited the Satras of Assam for doing research at the invitation of the Govt. of Assam. The Cultural Affairs Department of Assam entrusted Hemen Das to guide them. They smoothly completed their research work. After returning to Ahmedabad Govardhan Panchatji sent a letter to then Chief Minister of Assam Prafulla Kumar Mahanta as a gesture of gratitude on 28-11-1986. In this letter he mentioned highly of Hemen Das in these words- “… give us an escort and guide in Mr. Hemen Das who made our trip to Majuli and planned the tour so well, but he himself got deeply interested in “Ankiya Nat” and said that in future he would like to make a thorough study whenever he had the opportunity and facility to do so.” Another famous drama historian M.L. Varadapande visited the Satras of Assam in 1987 under the sponsorship of the Cultural Affairs Department of Assam. This time also Hemen Das was assigned the responsibility of helping him. After completing his study based visit without any hitch he wrote a letter to then Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta in which he mentioned about Hemen Das in this manner— Resourceful Shri Hemen Das acted as our eyes and ears and explained to us the nuance of Assamese culture. With the help I could film a Television Programme and made recording which I will use for my Radio Talk.

It is regrettable that Chief Minister Mahanta did not recognize Hemen Das and being busy with making Assam a golden one forgot even to acknowledge the letters of these two honourable personalities.

An employee of Assam Secretariat Hemen Das made a film titled ‘JUNJ’ (The fight) based on buffalo fight reflecting the state’s cultural heritage. In 1990, this film received national film award ‘Rajat Kamal’. Thus he brought laurels not only to the government and its employees, but to Assam as well. At that time Assam was under President’s rule. Reverred Loknath Mishra was the Governor and K.N. Prasad was the Adviser to the Governor of Assam. The employees of the Secretariat including the then Chief Secretary Haren Das arranged the felicitation meeting, which was held at the auditorium of Janata Bhawan and presided by Nirmal Prava Bordoloi, the then preisent of Assam Sahitya Sabha, where Hemen Das was felicitated by Hon’ble Governor L.N. Mishra and Chief Advisor K.N. Prasad was present in the Meeting. Election to Assam Assembly was held at the end of President’s rule and Hiteswar Saikia was elected as the Chief Minister. After returning to his home state Bihar K.N. Prasad sent a letter to the Chief Minister describing his experience where he referred to Hemen Das like this ‘… Shri Hemen Das who was awarded “Rajat Kamal” for 1990 in an artist of Assam. He has brought credit to the State and therefore, deserves fullest encouragement. We were thinking of providing him a suitable post in the Department of Information and Public Relation. Give an opportunity, I have no doubt that he would do full justice to any assignment which is required to project the image of Assam through the medium of films. I would, therefore, be grateful you kindly consider him for a suitable job.” Hiteswar Saikia completely ignored the decision taken by the Government during the President’s Rule and appointed Nipon Goswami to the post of Film Officer lying vacant in the Information & Public Relations Department. In this case the role of an Assamese IAS Officer was quite regrettable. However Hemen Das retired from the same post of a clerk and leaving the Secretariat complex at Dispur walked back to the residence silently. It is very unfortunate that not to speak of the Secretariat, even the staff of his own Department had not organized a formal farewell for a person who had brought glory to the state by bagging the Rajat Kamal National Award. Had it happened in an another state such a person would have been posted in a suitable job for the benefit of the state. It is hard to conceive why there is lack of goodwill on the part of the authorities concerned in such cases.

A prominent stage director of the country, Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee and the president of Asom Natya Sanmilan Dulal Roy commented on Hemen Das in 1986 like this ‘… Apart from his economic base profession Shri Hemen Das is associated with various cultural activities including his active association with the Directorate of Cultural Affairs, Assam. He is an established actor and also has proficiency in stage Direction. He has the rare quality of leadership in organising various cultural programmes. He possesses a genuine artistic instinct which has menifested in his socio-cultural activities. Shri Das has also assisted me with full devotion in my self directed film ‘ASHRAY’. In a recently telecast T.V. play, under my direction Shri Das has offered satisifactory peformance.

The winner of Sahitya Akademi Award, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Asom Sahitya Sabha Award (Drama), Swami Sankaracharya National Award (Literature), former President of Asom Natya Sanmilan, Padmashree Arun Sarma said about Hemen Das in this way ‘… Shri Hemen Das is a theatre actor of great repute. He has also directed a number of difficult plays drawing acclaims from audience and press reviews in each of his productions. A number of his theatre productions have been outside the State with great success. Shri Das has to his credit a number of books namely Naty Silpa, Pom Khedi and Abhinaya, all related to the art of theatre. He is a regular contributor to important language magazine and news-paper supplements, on subjects dealing with theatre and dramaturgy. Shri Das is very closely associated with various socio-cultural organizations working for the development of the society.’

The founder and Chief Editor of ‘Agradoot’, President of North Eastern Newspaper Association, former President of Asom Sahitya Sabha, Sreemanta Sankardev Award winner Kanak Sen Deka has this to say about Hemen Das “… Shri Hemen Das has written ‘Natya Silpa’ and ‘Pom Khedi’ with his experience in dramatic art since his childhood, ‘Cinema Cinema’, ‘Akanihat— Cenema Nirman Karu Aha’ and ‘Chalachitra Pasangat’ with experience of film knowledge in acting as he has been associated with stage since his childhood. Indeed, instances are very rare of a person to write on all the three art forms. These books are a very valuable contribution to the filed of art and literature in Assam. Moreover, Shri Das has been writing on different subjects, including the burning issues of Assam in various journals and newspapers. These articles have been appreicated well by the readers. It needs not mention that Shri Das is a renowned Actor, writer, critic, social-worker, stage Artist and National Cine Award winning Film Director. Shri Das has been ascoaited with various socio-cultural organisation of the State of Assam.

In 1991 Kolkata Book Fair was held from January 30 to February 10. The main theme of the Book Fair was Assam. Besides Assam Pavilion four Assamese films were screened at famous Nandan Cinema Hall in association with the Govt. of Assam. These films included ‘Sandhyarag’ by Dr. Bhabendra Nath Saikia, ‘Tathapio Nadi’ by Hemanta Das, ‘Uttar Kaal’ by Abdul Majid and ‘Junj’ by Hemen Das. ‘Junj’ was screened at 3 p.m. on February 2. The audience included Goutam Ghosh, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Dr. Mamoni Raysom Goswami, father of noted actor Victor Banerjee, retired major S.N. Benarjee among others. ‘Junj’ impressed the audience very much and after the end of the show everyone praised Hemen Das profusely. Even later S.N. Banerjee wrote a letter to Hemen Das on February 4, 1991 where he said- “… The film JUNJ (The fight) is superb and it is one of its own kind. The true life of the Rural Area of Assam has been marvelously depicted where I spent more than three decades of my life. A very realistic one.

We would look forward to see more of this type of film so that, people not only in India but abroad would know the beautiful life of our Rural Villages.

If possible, I would suggest that an English version of the film may be made so that, people in Spain and others would realize that Bull & Buffalow fight could be done without the help of any Red cloth.”

The former Chief Minister of Assam and leader of the people Sarat Chandra Sinha was so impressed with the book ‘Pom Khedi’ written by Hemen Das that he sent a letter to him where he stated-

“The book ‘Pom Khedi’ written by you was sent to me as a gesture of love. I read the book thoroughly. The book written after studying different aspects of the Vedas, culture, literature, scriptures, Natya Sastra etc. is very informative and full of facts. I have come to know various hitherto unknown facts.

The chapter on Devadashi was brilliantly portrayed. Glimpses of nationalist thoughts are reflected in the discussions on art and literature. The theoretical discussion on acting and Natya Sastra is very interesting. There are many things to learn. I respect your creative thoughts. There is no end to quest. Let your quest become successful.

Reading the book ‘Silpa Chinta’ written by Hemen Das and published by Assam Publication Board in the year 2013 one of the leading intellectuals of the country Dr. Hiren Gohain wrote an article in ‘Axomiya Khabar’ on 28th July, 2014. He said- “…Most of the audience who witnessed the film ‘Junj’ made by Hemen Das must admit that unlike other Assamese films this film is entirely free from artificial and melodramatically moments, yet emotions and feelings are boldly reflected in an artistic manner in the film. With his experience in drama and cinema and depth study the director of the film wrote an informative and thoughtful hand book for the benefit of the students of drama and cinema and the artistes as well. Though the Assamese rendering of some of the technical words is not so ripe overall the book is interesting and of good taste. In a nutshell he provides some facts on famous works of art as well as artistes. I congratulate Hemen Das.

An eminent drama historian of the country, Sangeet Natak Akademi Lifetime Achievement Award winner, receipient of Tagore Akademi Sanman Honour and Sreemanta Sankardev Award winner in 2016 M.L. Varadapande sent a letter to the Chief Minister of Assam, Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal where he mentioned about Hemen Das. He wrote- “…1987, when I was invited by Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Assam and toured extensively in various Satras, Namghars and some other folk cultural hubs of Assam. The Cultural Affairs Department highly deputed to us resourceful Shri Hemen Das who acted as our eyes and ears and explained to us the nuance of Assamese culture. With his direction I could record in video a full length Ankiya Naat, Ojapali and Deodhani Nitya. These were telecast for the first time by Doordarshan in National Network with legendary classical dance artist Sonal Mansingh as its anchor.

Shri Hemen Das is doyen of traditional and modern Assamese art, literature and culture. He is a performing artist par excellence and master of dramatic art and craft. He has written several articles and books on the art and craft of theatrical performances. His books such as Natya Xilpa, Pam Khedi, Abhinay- speaks of his crudition, profound scholarship and stage experience.

He has acted in more than seventy traditional Assamese drama forms such as Ankiya Naat, Jatra Naat and Modern Naat. He has directed number of dramatic performance, traditional as well as modern in State and National Level. He stand awarded for his acting and directional ventures.

His knowledge of these form is virtually encyclopedic and number of prominent scholars from all over India as Gobardhan Panchal (Ahmedabad), Dhiren Das (Orissa) seeked his guidance while conducting their research. Shri Das deserves all accolades, honours and praise from State and National Government. He is genius.”]

From these facts collected from different sources it can be surmised that Hemen Das is a publicity shy, non-glamorous, silent worker. The contributions of Hemen Das to the creative field, be it drama, cinema, literature and society are invaluable and of high standard. Even as a person he has a well accepted and bright image. I think the elite society will agree with me in this respect.

 

Edited by-

Hemanta Kumar Bharali
(Noted journalist-litterateur)

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